My dear friend and co-horse owner, Dave, called today to let me know that he was going to very reluctantly retire (Sweet) Golden Mary. It seems that Mary is in pain, having either bone chips in her leg or, perhaps, arthritis. Rather than put her through surgery or have her on medication, Dave has made the wise, yet oh so difficult choice of letting her go.
I cried. Yes, I only own 15% of Mary...but she's been a 100% joy in my life.
For someone who never in her life liked animals, I'm telling you, this really hurts. And, as accustomed as I am to disappointments in life, this one is a bit of a heart breaker. It hurts me to know that Dave is so sad too...It just seems she really never got a chance to be a race horse. But, the more I thought about it today, the more I realized the AMAZING joy she brought! We all fell in love with Golden Mary.
Dave had bred her and been there when she was born. We had watched and visited her from when she was just a sweet little filly and saw her grow into one of the biggest horses you've ever seen! And, also, one of the gentlest. She would hear us coming, perking up her ears and, I swear, almost smiling when she saw us! Always happy to pose for pictures with us, full of affection and kisses and delight...I would be wrong if I didn't tell you that Mary had fallen in love with us too.
The visits to Santa Anita's barns--dozens and dozens of times--were full of unmeasurable happiness.
For me, the events of the last nine months or so...seeing Golden Mary at the stables and at Santa Anita and, most recently at Hollywood Park...have been absolutely pure joy. Our early morning drives out to Arcadia, cold mornings at the track, the beautiful snow-capped mountains in the distance, bacon and eggs at Clocker's Corner...and a visit with our girls...
I'm not exaggerating when I tell you, they have been some of the best days of my life!
I was always SO EXCITED to see her run...I would even CHEER her on in her workouts!
I do believe (as I am sure you do too) that I have more photos our sweet horses in the last nine or ten months than of anything else ever! It's been sheer enjoyment for me.
Golden Mary was my very first horse...my first experience with horse racing.
She opened up a whole new world for me.
Oh man, yes, I will miss our girl! And, though it would have been great to see her win a race and collect a big purse, the unexpected and exhilarating joy she brought to me--to us!--in OH so many ways--is an incredible win...and absolutely priceless.
I wouldn't trade it for the world.
So proud of our sweet, beautiful Mary. And EVER so grateful for what she gave us.